11/17/2016 4:54PM

Another Michael Maker success story

In the August 18 edition of FormBlog, I mentioned David Jacobson's knack for turning horses around off the claim (http://www.drf.com/blogs/stallwalkin-dude-back-back).

Stallwalkin' Dude, the main focus of that piece, came back to run third in the Grade 1 Forego and second in the Grade 1 Vosburgh before polishing off ten others in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont on October 29. He's entered in the De Francis Dash at Laurel on Saturday and can be expected to give his usual solid effort if he starts there. 

Another trainer with an eye for talent is Michael Maker, a fantastic horseman that deserves some public praise for his handling of newly-acquired, longer-distance turf performers. In 2016, Maker has won ten graded races with seven different horses. Let's take a closer look at some of them:
AL'S GAL (5, m, English Channel - Dans La Ville*Chi, by Winning)
Claimed for $35,000 from trainer David Braddy at Gulfstream on February 26, 2015, Al's Gal has compiled a 16-5-6-0 record for Maker. Second in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington on August 13, Al's Gal grabbed Grade 1 glory with a hard-fought nose victory in the E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine last month. 
DA BIG HOSS (5, h, Lemon Drop Kid - Lady Struck Gold, by Touch Gold)
Taken from Wayne Catalano's yard for $50,000 at Churchill Downs on June 21, 2015, Da Big Hoss made almost a million dollars in 2016 alone for Maker. His overall record for the barn is 12-8-0-1 with five graded wins to his record (back-to-back editions of the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup, Grade 3 John B. Connally Stakes, Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes, Grade 3 American St. Leger).
GREENGRASSOFYOMING (6, g, Quest - Flick, by Dehere)
Claimed for $62,500 from Michael Tomlinson on June 26 at Churchill Downs, Greengrassofyoming upset the Grade 3 Stars N Stripes Stakes in his first start for the outfit before finishing a close fourth in the Grade 1 Arlington Million.
OSCAR NOMINATED (3, r, Kitten's Joy - Devine Actress, by Theatrical)
Oscar Nominated was haltered for $75,000 from Bill Mott at Belmont on October 16, 2015 and has gone on to make almost 600K for Maker. This year, Oscar Nominated pulled off a 23 to 1 shocker in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes over the polytrack at Turfway Park, finished second in the Grade 3 American Derby on turf, and took Maker to the Kentucky Derby.
S'MAVERLOUS (6, g, Tiz Wonderful - A. P. Petal, by A.P. Indy)
Before being claimed by Maker for $32,000 from Diane Balsamo at Belmont on September 15, 2015, S'Maverlous was known as a useful New York-bred sprinter. For Maker, S'Maverlous compiled a record of 10-4-1-2 including wins in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap and $194,000 Mountainview Handicap. Both of those races were at nine furlongs. 
Maker was at it again last weekend at Aqueduct with Bigger Picture in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap. A 5-year-old gelded son of Badge of Silver, Bigger Picture was originally trained by Maker. He made his first four starts under the familiar Ken & Sarah Ramsey silks before being taken for $25,000 by Linda Rice. Bigger Picture bounced around the claiming and allowance ranks for Rice and Rudy Rodriguez before being reclaimed by Maker, this time for Three Diamonds Farm, for $32,000 on November 7, 2015. 
Slowly, Maker began to stretch Bigger Picture out in distance and the results have been amazing. This year, Bigger Picture is 7-4-1-0 with earnings of $302,150. Prior to the Red Smith, Bigger Picture was beaten a dirty nose in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes traveling 12 furlongs at Keeneland. 
In last week's race, Bigger Picture's excellent tactical speed coupled with a heady ride from Jose Ortiz contributed to Bigger Picture's 9 to 1 upset over favored Wake Forest.

You can check out my "Weekend Wrap" analysis of the Red Smith Handicap with Matt Bernier at this link:  

Look for Bigger Picture to return next year for Maker at either Gulfstream Park or Sam Houston. It's possible he can be Maker's next Da Big Hoss at longer distances on the turf. 
From a handicapping perspective, follow Maker-claimed horses as they stretch out significantly in distance, especially on turf. According to DRF Formulator, the barn is 39 for 152 (26% winners) with a $2.81 ROI over the past five years with turf routers in the first start following the claim. 
*I haven't wanted to disrupt the Breeders' Cup flow with more EPICHARIS news, but the extremely-promising Japanese 2-year-old that I've been crowing about won the Grade 3 Hokkaido Nisai Yushun at Monbetsu on November 1 by 2.5 SECONDS. Not lengths. Seconds. 
He won by about 13 lengths or so at the nine-furlong distance. If all goes well, Epicharis is expected to run in the first of two Kentucky Derby qualifying races, the Cattleya Sho at Tokyo Racecourse on November 26. He is currently listed at 250 to 1 in the Wynn Kentucky Derby Future Wager. 
*Will be back in two weeks after the holiday. Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!!
For free video analysis of some of the weekend's major stakes races, take a look at http://video.drf.com/
Also, Peter Thomas Fornatale and I will be on for free and fun handicapping analysis at 3pm ET on Saturday for DRF Live!. This week, we'll discuss Aqueduct, Del Mar, Delta, Laurel and Woodbine. You can find us at live.drf.com
You can check me out on Twitter at DRF_Dan Illman
Dan the answer man or others in the community
I am grasping at the parameters of the Pegasus Cup.
Are owners really going to put up a million?
It seems confusing. Can a smart guy explain it simply?
Thanks in advance
Monty Gry
Twelve prospective owners have already committed $1 million each to the race. The period for owners to purchase entries began on May 16. All spots were taken within the first 48 hours. The entrant has the right to race, share, lease, or contract a starter, or sell their place in the gate. 
Here were the original list of owners for the race:
Califronia Chrome LLC
Reddam Racing, LLC
Jerry and Ronald Frankel
Sol Kumin and James Covello
Coolmore Partnership
Jim McIngvale
Paul Reddam
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing
Daniel Schafer
Starlight Pegasus Partners
Adena Springs
Jeff Weiss (Rosedown Racing Stables)
Ruis Racing
In September, Kumin and Covello sold their slot to Earle Mack and Mohammed Faissal Al Saud. 
It's interesting to note that Juddmonte Farms, owner of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Arrogate, does not have an entry into the field. Of course, one is likely to be purchased before the race. 
Here are the top 25 WINNING Beyer Speed Figures from 11/9/16 - 11/15/16:
1. BIGGER PICTURE - 103 - Red Smith Handicap (G3) - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 12Nov16-7AQU
2. HE WILL - 102 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 12Nov16-8DMR
2. STICKSSTATELYDUDE - 102 - Discovery Stakes (G3) - 1 1/8 Miles - 12Nov16-8AQU
4. MR. JORDAN - 101 - Millions Classic Preview Stakes - 1 1/16 Miles - 12Nov16-10GPW
5. ABLE BAKER CHARLIE - 99 - Clm 8000 - 6 1/2 Furlongs - 14Nov16-5PRX
5. UNBRIDLED JUAN - 99 - OC 100k/C -N - 1 Mile - 11Nov16-3AQU
7. KAABRAAJ - 96 - Luke Kruytbosch Stakes - 6 Furlongs - 12Nov16-7TUP
7. TRIBAL JEWEL - 96 - OC 40k/N1X - 1 Mile - 11Nov16-3DMR
9. ACK NAUGHTY - 95 - OC 40k/N2X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 12Nov16-3AQU
10. COCO MON - 94 - OC 80k/N3X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 11Nov16-4CD 
10. SECURITY RISK - 94 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 Mile (Turf) - 12Nov16-5AQU
12. DECEMBER SEVEN - 93 - Alw 59719N1X - 1 3/16 Miles (Turf) - 12Nov16-5CD 
12. EDDIE HASKELL - 93 - OC 40k/N1X -N - 5 Furlongs (Turf) - 13Nov16-5DMR
12. SADLER'S JOY - 93 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) - 9Nov16-8AQU
15. ETHICAL FUNDS - 92 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 13Nov16-6WO 
15. MOMENT OF DELIGHT - 92 - Millions Distaff Preview Stakes - 7 Furlongs - 12Nov16-2GPW
17. LIBERTY HOLIDAY (ARG) - 91 - OC 62k/N2X -N - 6 Furlongs - 11Nov16-8AQU
17. SARATOGA GIRO - 91 - OC 15k/N3R -N - 6 Furlongs - 10Nov16-9FL 
17. SPLASHTASTIC - 91 - Alw 50000s - 1 Mile - 12Nov16-2AQU
17. YES I'LL GO - 91 - Md Sp Wt 30k - 6 Furlongs - 13Nov16-4GPW
21. GALLEON MAST - 90 - OC 16k/N1X -N - 7 1/2 Furlongs (Turf) - 13Nov16-9GPW
21. ISLAND REWARD - 90 - OC 80k/N1X -N - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 11Nov16-7AQU
23. COMES THE DREAM - 89 - Alw 16000s - 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) - 11Nov16-6DMR
23. DEFIANTLY - 89 - Let It Ride Stakes - 1 Mile (Turf) - 12Nov16-4DMR
23. SHALAKO - 89 - Alw 67000N1X - 1 1/16 Miles (Turf) - 9Nov16-6AQU
Bigger Picture's lifetime past performances are available at the bottom of this blog post. 
Congrats to Gerry V. for winning the most recent HandiGambling challenge.
Rick M and SR VEGAS' HG scoreboard spreadsheet is available at the bottom of this blog post. 
Let's go with the Delta Jackpot from Delta Downs as this week's contest. 
SR Vegas and Rick M. have graciously decided to update all of the HG rules in order to make them an easier read for everyone...
HANDIGAMBLING version 2016:
Let's remember WHY we began the HandiGambling races in the first place.
The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses and why we're betting them the way we are. We are not asking for a novel but SPARE A SENTENCE OR TWO outlining your HANDICAPPING ANGLES and/or THOUGHT PROCESSES about WAGERING.
1. Start your post with HG or HANDIGAMBLING to find your entry in a thread.
2. You have a mythical $100 to wager in whatever format you choose that is available for that HG race. Anyone going over the $100 limit will be DISQUALIFIED.
3. Post your WAGER and ANALYSIS to the blog prior to the start of the designated race. SIGN OFF WITH YOUR NAME/OR MONIKER AT THE END OF YOUR POST. Remember that posts may start as 'anonymous' or an 'alternate name'. You MUST SIGN YOURSELF AT THE END (even if it is the same) This enables the scorekeeper to identify who you are.
4. (1) ONE ENTRY per person for the Handigambling contest. If you have multiple email addresses, use just ONE for contest purposes. Multiple entries will be cause for disqualification.
5. Separate your analysis from the wager and use the PROGRAM # in your wager. Just like you would do in a real wager. No horse names.
6. If any of the rules listed above aren't met, the wager is subject to review which can lead to disqualification of your entry.
In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. Dan reserves the right to approve or deny any entries.
The winner will receive a "60-Card Quarterly Formulator Past Performance Plan"
As an example :
HG 2016
The speed in this race are #1 Alpha, #2 Beta, and #8 Ocho. I like the works for layoff horse #5 Cinco who can sit off the pace. Lots of speed in here, so this could set up for a closer like  #6 Six Flags and I like the trainer's stats in these conditions. I’ll put the closer over the speed.
HG wager:
$10 EX   6 /   1,2,5, 8  = $40
$5 TRI   6 /   1,2,5,8  /  1,2,5,8  =  $60
Total $100
Thanks Dan!
Bigger Picture.pdf759.06 KB
Copy of HG 11 12 16 Discovery.xls54 KB
HGDELTA.pdf157.74 KB